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Book Review: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is a coming of age novel taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. During the 1970's, fourteen year old Mary Jane is caught in the middle of her family's conservative ideals and the progressive ideals of the Cone family where she is a summer nanny. Mary Jane is a sheltered teen who enjoys cooking with her mother, listening to Broadway Show Tunes, and singing in the church choir. On the first day of work, she is shocked at the mess in the Cone's home and introduces them to home cooked meals and keeping the house clean. In return, Mary Jane gets a front row seat to sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This novel was the selected for the book club I belong to. Again, this is a novel that I likely wouldn't have chosen to read on my own, but I was glad I did. Mary Jane is the first novel I've read by Jessica Anya Blau, and I was impressed with her storytelling.  Touching on race, class, and stereotypes, along with drugs and infidelity, it reminded

Book Review: Tell No One by Harlan Coben

Tell No One by Harlan CobenThere are very few books that make me want to stay up all night to finish it, but Harlan Coben's Tell No One was one of the few that made me want to stay up all night. However, I wasn't actually able to do that as I had lunch plans the following day. All I can say is that I am thrilled that this book was chosen for one of the book clubs I belong to.

This was my first time ever reading one of Harlan Coben's novels, and I absolutely loved his writing. I was sucked in from page one, and it had twists and turns galore. Like most thrillers, it does follow the typical formula most thriller writers use, so you knew the ending would be somewhat predictable. There really isn't much I can complain about . . . except for the last page when you're thrown for yet another twist. I really didn't care for that last minute twist. Other than that I was quite pleased.

While reading some of the reviews on Goodreads.com, one of the reviewers said they felt like it hinted at super violence and had more than they were comfortable with. I'm not really sure what they were expecting with a thriller as they typically have an element of violence in it. So, if you don't like violence, then you won't like this book, but in my opinion, Tell No One is a must read.


Synopsis of Tell No One by Harlan Coben

Dr. David Beck and his wife Elizabeth are at the family summer home when Elizabeth is kidnapped and killed. David is beaten and left for dead. Eight years later, David receives cryptic emails leaving him to believe his wife is still alive. Wanting to know if it is an elaborate hoax, David starts digging into the past, which just might cost him his life.

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